I rise to present a petition that calls for a better deal for carers. We can all agree about the wonderful work that they do, and we know that society would not be sustained as it is without them. I warmly thank Darren Osborne and the 600 or so who have signed his electronic petition, which is fronted by the paper petition that I have with me. Campaigners will be taking the matter to the Prime Minister tomorrow at No. 10. Meanwhile, I am honoured to support the good work of all who have signed the petition.
The petition states:
The Petition of Mr Darren Osborne, Carers Poverty Alliance, Carers Poverty Protest and others,
Declares that carers allowance should be paid at a level that gives carers the dignity, quality of life and recognition this hard working group deserves within the benefits system; that all carers who provide 35 hours per week unpaid care for a relative, partner or friend of any age with a long term illness or disability, or who is elderly and frail, be paid an increased allowance regardless of means or receipt of any other benefits, including the state pension; further notes that carers should not be forced to live on a limited income, nor should they have to self fund their caring role, by living off their limited savings; that for these and other valid reasons, carers who provide over 35 hours of care per week should receive an increased carers allowance exempt from assessment for all other benefits and believes that this is in the public interest.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to pay increased carers allowance exempt from all other benefit assessments to all carers who provide over 35 hours of care per week.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.